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NerdWallet’s Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards, Fall 2014

Homer

In a world that has taught us to always look for a catch, it’s difficult to believe a no fee credit card is a fair (or safe) bet. But no, they aren’t too good to be true – some no fee cards still offer high rewards and reasonable interest rates.  If you don’t consider yourself a jetsetter or like to save a little more than you spend, you can still rack up rewards without handing over a fee each year.

What’s even better is that you can just stash this card away and keep the account open indefinitely. This way, you’ll boost your credit score by raising your overall credit limit and account age. Whether you’re into cash back or low interest payments, there’s a no fee card out there with your name on it. Here are our picks for the top no fee credit cards.

The Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom - $100 Cash Back Credit Card
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on Chase's
secure website

The Chase Freedom provides versatility and value, at no cost. It offers 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories, such as department stores, restaurants and home improvement. Gas is featured as a bonus category in two quarters, so you’re earning an average of 3% on gas purchases throughout the year. Your bonus rewards are capped at $1,500 in purchases each quarter, but you can get an unlimited 1% back in non-bonus categories. Add that to a 15 month 0% intro APR period on purchases and transfers, and you’ve got yourself quite a card with a $0 annual fee.

The Discover it®

Discover It Credit Card
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on Discover's
secure website

The Discover it® card offers a one-two punch: 5% cash back on bonus categories that change every quarter up to $1,500 spent, plus 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers – the longest among $0 annual fee, cash back credit cards. This is a pretty great offer, featuring no foreign transaction fees and access to the Discover Deals online rewards mall, which earns 5-20% cash back on popular online retailers. The card pays out in cash, so you don’t have to do battle with point programs to get your full value. If you’re looking for a solid value and a great bonus to boot, the Discover it is for you.

There are different versions of this card depending on what you need. If the 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers isn’t important for you and you would rather get cash back for just signing up – check out the Discover it® - $150 Cash Back, it offers $150 cash back after you make $750 in purchases within the first three months from account opening.  This comes with the same 5% cash back on bonus categories that change every quarter up to $1,500 spent.

Discover it Credit Card
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on Discover's
secure website

The Citi® Double Cash Card

Citibank Citi® Double Cash Card Credit Card
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on Citibank's
secure website

The Citi® Double Cash Card rewards you twice — that’s right, twice. It gives you 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% back once you pay off said purchases. On top of that, there are no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn. The Citi Double Cash boasts a $0* annual fee, 0% APR for 15 months and cash or statement credit redemption starting at just $25. It comes EMV chip-enabled and offers a waived fee on your first late payment and a flexible due date. This is a great card for those who want high cash rewards and hate annual fees!

  • wonder

    looking for a credit card company who accept after bankruptcy cases, i haven’t seen any who will except you with out having a security deposit.

    • Jake Kooker

      You’d have to start with a secure credit card, then about 6 months later a student card, then after about a year of that you could move on to one with decent rewards

      • Aaron

        You don’t ever need a student card after a secured. I went from a secured card, to the amazon visa from chase, and now I have the Freedom, Discover IT, and Capital One Quicksilver

        • Jake Kooker

          True, it all depends on your credit background, credit limit, and credit usage. Speaking strictly from personal experience from myself and my girlfriend, 4-6 month intervals are a reasonable rate of progression.

  • robin mulligan

    what a lame article as it only shows cards that have a limited time 0% APR! My US Bank REI Visa is ALWAYS 0% and it gives me credit to use at REI (about 10% return) or money back after a few months. are you getting kickbacks from these major banks?

  • VIP

    PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature is a better no-fee gas card, at 5% cash back on all gas purchases (and 3% on supermarkets). You can gain access to this card if you’re not military-affiliated, by becoming a member of National Military Family Association or Voices for America’s Troops. ($20, and $15 respectively).

    • Andrew Green

      That card is 5points not %

  • denis urbano

    Forni-Card i by far a good deal, what you put inside in a monthly basis, is pretty much close about what you are getting out from using this card. the fee is only $69.00